Today I have the great pleasure to welcome author Liz Meldon on Cookie Break, for a chat about her upcoming novel – and sequel in the Games we Play duology – The King!
Liz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about her own snarky characters, she is ghostwriting romance novellas, loitering on social media, or taking care of her many animals.
As a freelance ghostwriter, she has written over a dozen books ranging from romance to horror, full-length to novella-sized. A handful are currently on the market, and she stalks their “authors” with fiendish delight. She loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.
Her newest novel, The King, will be out in November, so add it to your tbr lists now!
Welcome to Cookie Break, Liz! Congratulations on being so close to publishing The King. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by, despite how busy you no doubt are!
Could you tell us a little about your book? No spoilers, please! 😉
Absolutely! The King is the first full-length book in the Games We Play duology. The Fool, its prologue, was published last December. The King and the rest of the works in the Games We Play duology centers around vampire hunter Delia Roberts. She’s a mid-level hunter at the League in the small city of Harriswood, and she’s not exactly happy there. It’s a lot of monotonous routine these days: surveillance, patrols, driving the van while the other hunters do the vamp arresting. She’s sort of stuck in the only job she’s ever liked and tried at, and now she’s not sure whether she should really even be a hunter. Her aunt was once a famous hunter on the west coast, and these days, no matter how hard she tries, Delia isn’t exactly following in her footsteps—and it’s beyond frustrating.
Meanwhile, in The Fool, she met a gorgeous masked man who turned out to be a warm-bodied vampire—Claude Grimm to be specific, a Harriswood vampire clan leader. In The King, Claude is determined to follow-up on the connection they had when they first met at the masquerade, though Delia fears what their budding romance could mean for her and the job that she’s always thought was her life’s purpose. She fights her feelings for a long time, despite knowing, deep down, she’s been smitten and denying it from the night they met.
At the same time, the Donovan vampire clan is acting out violently against the other vampire clans, forcing the League to create a tentative truce with the other vampires in Harriswood—the first time in local history, a both dangerous and unprecedented shift that will change them all forever.
Would you mind sharing an excerpt with us, or a favourite quote?
A brief excerpt from a scene where Delia finally accepts Claude’s offer to help improve her hand-to-hand combat skills:
“Seconds later the line was dead, and she tossed her phone aside like it scalded her. Unable to shake her steadily growing grin, Delia hopped up, energized for the first time all day, and went to tidy her disastrous kitchen.
Not because she wanted to do the dishes or scrub the grease stains off the backsplash, but because if she didn’t move, the high she felt after a mere two-minute conversation with Claude Grimm would utterly consume her.
And she wasn’t ready to be consumed.
Do you remember what sparked the idea for The King?
I initially wrote The Fool with the intention of it being a part of my Erotic Short Shorts series. It was meant to be 8-10K—just a smutty story about a vampire hunter making mistakes and falling for a vampire. As I wrote it, however, it suddenly became so much more. I saw this whole universe unfolding, and I really wanted to pursue a romance between these two characters.
At the same time, I wanted to explore writing a character like Delia. She feels authentic to me: someone who wants to be good at a job they think they were destined for, but finds they’re kind of just coasting. I mention quarter-life crisis a lot, which I think a lot of people poke fun at, but it feels very real to me and a lot of people my age. You have these expectations in life: high school, college, job, adult. And it’s not really happening as easily as it once was. Psychologically, when you create certain expectations that aren’t met repeatedly, you start to break down a little. Delia is my exploration of that.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently doing all the intense work that comes with self-publishing a book: creating graphics, scheduling posts, proofing, getting the paperback and ebook versions formatted. On the writing front, I’m working on an erotic short story called Bliss, which I’m hoping to complete and publish soon to add to my Erotic Short Shorts series.
What draws you to the genre you write in? Have you always been drawn to it?
I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, but what I love the most about paranormal romance is tackling very real, human issues (love, relationships, sex, character growth) with creatures who are decidedly very not-human. That in itself is my favourite thing to work through, especially with my Lovers and Liars serial. It focuses on Loki and Aphrodite (and other old world gods) trying to survive in the modern day—and we see that they are very human in their strengths and their flaws, which I enjoy.
Also love. I don’t know why I’m drawn to it. I’m very cynical, particularly about fictional romances, but I just adore writing about two people finding their other half.
Who/what is your writing inspiration?
I always say the book I’m reading right now is my inspiration. Books that fuel me to work on my own stuff are ones that I regard very highly. Music is also hugely inspirational—I plot most, if not all, my books while I’m on a walk listening to my iPod.
What do you do if inspiration just won’t come?
I work on another project if inspiration won’t come for something I’m working on in the moment. Doing something creative is bound to spark more creativity, so I just try to keep working and hope it’ll come back to me eventually.
Which part of the writing process is your favourite, and which part do you dread?
I love the plotting process and absolutely dread the revision stages.
What is your number one distraction?
Twitter. It’s awful, but I get totally sucked into it. Bad Liz. Bad!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter FOR SURE. I plot the general story in a notebook. Then I plot chapter by chapter. Then I take that outline and plot MORE intensely before I begin writing said chapter.
Tea or coffee?
Neither. I’d take tea over coffee though.
What are the most important three things you’ve learned about writing, editing or publishing (or all of the above!) since you started your journey?
That you have to sit down and write. You can’t always wait for the muse to bless you with inspiration or the will to create. Writing is a job like any other, and some days you really just have to put the hard work in, tough as it is. Editing is a huge part of the writing process, and you have to not be scared to slash away and rework things. Also, you need a professional editor and proofreader. You can’t be a one-man band, especially when you’re gearing up to self-publish.
What’s your favourite quote on writing?
“Every writer I know has trouble writing.”
– Joseph Heller
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Remember the good reviews in just as much detail as you remember the bad ones.
Where else can we connect with you?
You can reach me on:
Thank you so much, Liz, for stopping by! I’m very excited for the release of The King, and have already popped your books onto my tbr list! 🙂 Don’t forget, The King is out next month but you can already find her novels and start reading on Goodreads and Amazon now! 😉
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